Celebrate : National SBDC Day

National SBDC Day

Support of entrepreneurism that results in small business start-up’s is the economic strength of vibrant communities. A core component of the FCADC’s economic strategy is availing a full range of support to start-up businesses because once successful, they become staples of our local economy. Examples of some of Franklin County’s most successful start-up businesses include TB Woods which was a start-up in 1857, Manitowoc Crane Group (formerly Grove Manufacturing), JLG Industries, Martins Famous Pastry Shoppe, Bri-Mar Manufacturing, CAM Superline, DL Martin Co., Roy Pitz Brewery, Gearhouse Brewing, and LaunchUX.

An entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, and services. Being an entrepreneur is challenging and requires a high-level of risk tolerance. There are certain characteristics common of all entrepreneurs with these characteristics they have the potential to be successful. They have vision; are focused; start with a plan; start small; know their customers (and potential customers); and have perseverance.

I cannot overstate the importance of a business plan when starting a small business. It is for that reason the FCADC has a long-established relationship with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Shippensburg University. The mission of the SBDC is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions and prosper. At the FCADC, we routinely make referrals to the SBDC.

Q & A

What is the SBDC?

The SBDC program provides no-cost confidential consulting and low-cost training in proven management fundamentals helping small business owners and potential entrepreneurs make sound decisions for the successful operation of their business.  
How can the SBDC help someone just thinking of starting a business?

The SBDC offers Entrepreneurial Assessment, Pre-Business and Business Planning seminars for those individuals who want general information on starting a business, or who are in the initial start-up phase. SBDC consultants can then help you with the details of turning your plan into a successful reality.
Do you have to be in business to use the services of the SBDC?

No. You only have to be considering the idea of opening a business or researching the feasibility of a proposed profit-making venture.
My business has been established for some time. How can the SBDC help me?

The SBDC provides an array of consulting services to established businesses including one-on-one consulting in business planning, marketing and promotion, financial analysis, record keeping, human resources, strategic planning, new market diversification, and other areas. In addition, the procurement technical assistance program is available for companies that want to bid on government contracts and international trade specialists are available to consult with firms that want to enter into or expand in the global marketplace. The Environmental Management Assistance Program provides improvements to your bottom line through pollution prevention, energy efficiency and strategic environmental management. Technology commercialization assistance is available to high growth and technology firms with sophisticated business management issues. The SBDC stands ready to help businesses in all stages with a variety of issues.
Can I get help from the SBDC if my business is set up as a not-for-profit business?

Because of the SBDC’s funding guidelines, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers are not able to assist businesses that are established as not-for-profit.
What can I expect from SBDC consultant?

At your initial meeting, your consultant will review your business needs or proposal, determine a course of action and identify areas that both of you will be responsible for completing. Your consultant will then follow up with an engagement letter detailing your meeting and listing the items that both of you will be working on, along with an estimated time frame for completion and anticipated outcomes. 
Does the SBDC charge for its services?

The management and technical assistance services are provided at no charge to the client. Nominal fees are generally charged for training seminars and special events.

For More Information

If you are have recently started a small business or have aspirations to start one, I encourage you to contact the SBDC at Shippensburg University They can be contacted at 717-477-1935 or sbdc@ship.edu.